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May
9

Impress Buyers With These Outdoor Staging Tips

Impress Buyers with Outdoor Staging

Your home's exterior is your best chance to make a good first impression on home shoppers. Your exterior has a huge impact on your ability to sell quickly and drive clicks to your listing online. Taking the time to ensure your garden, lawn, and patio area are all in tip-top shape before listing your home is essential for success.

Home staging is the process of dressing up your home in such a way that it is attractive to home shoppers. It's a process that can help your property sell fast, and it can also help you earn a higher sale price. When it comes to home staging, many sellers are quick to prioritize the interior; however, our real estate agents always tell clients to not forget about the outdoor space. Here are a few tips to keep your home's exterior looking great:

Deep Clean

  • Deep Clean Everything
    Deep cleaning isn't just for the indoors. It's also an important element of outdoor staging. This means pressure washing your siding, porch, and patio, as well as cleaning the windows, gutters, and downspouts. Make sure to also rid your yard of any leaves, branches, or debris. At the end of the day, you want your home to shine bright like these Augusta County homes for sale.

  • Boost Your Curb Appeal
    Curb appeal is a term that describes the view of your home from the street. Curb appeal encompasses all elements of your facade, including your front door, landscaping, driveway, and front porch. There are many easy ways to give your curb appeal a boost. Paint your front door, buy a new mailbox, add some porch furniture, or even replace your address numbers. Your efforts will really show on your listing photos!

Refresh Landscaping

  • Refresh Your Landscaping
    Spring and summer are the perfect times to wow buyers with amazing landscaping. Make sure your lawn is mowed, bushes and hedges are trimmed, add a fresh layer of mulch in any garden areas, and clear out any weeds. Flowers can really help set the scene, so either plant some new ones or buy some potted flowers for the porch or patio. 

  • Add Comfortable Seating
    Outdoor gathering spaces are important selling points, so make sure to optimize yours. Whether it's a porch, patio, or firepit in the yard, comfortable seating is a must. Big, comfy patio furniture with a nice center table can make for a nice scene. Or, stage a nice backyard gathering spot with Adirondack chairs. 

Painting

  • Add Some Paint
    Take a look at the various elements that make up your exterior and determine where a fresh coat of paint is needed. Consider your fence, deck, porch, front door, and garage door. If anything is looking a bit faded, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way towards brightening things up. 

  • Ditch the Personal Decor
    The goal of any home staging effort is to make things as neutral as possible. When home shopping, buyers are trying to imagine themselves in the space. Personalization can make this difficult. Take the time to remove any outdoor clutter, such as garden decorations, toys, yard ornaments, porch decor, or hanging flags.

Exterior Lighting

  • Add Some Exterior Lighting
    While most home shoppers will be visiting your property during the day, some may drive by your home in the evening. This is when it can really pay off to have some beautiful outdoor lighting. Add some garden lights that reflect off of your facade, or line your sidewalk and driveway with LEDs. String lights also make for great options on outdoor patios. 

Real Estate Agent

  • Find a Good Real Estate Agent
    Staging a home is both an art and a science. Because most sellers don't have a ton of experience in home staging, it can be helpful to turn to a real estate agent who does. Real estate agents are in the loop on all the latest design trends, and they know what buyers want. A good agent is very capable of guiding you through the staging process and making the most of your property.

Buyers are more likely to pay close attention to your home's exterior in warm weather months, so taking the time to stage your outdoor area is well worth the time. If you're planning to list your home for sale this year, we can help. Contact us today.

March
14

Features People are Willing to Move for in 2022

Home Features

As life changes, people naturally seek new homes that are better suited for that next stage of life. Whether it's starting a new family or starting to downsize, our needs are constantly changing.

Understanding what buyers are looking for can really pay off when it comes time to sell. Our real estate agents always recommend you put yourself in the shoes of your target buyer, so you can market features of your home that are most desirable. Here are some of the top home features we believe consumers are willing to move for in 2022:

Home Office

  • A Comfortable Home Office
    Remote work is here to stay, and so is the need for a comfortable home office. For most people, taking conference calls from the dining room table will no longer cut it. So many consumers are seeking out new homes with an extra bedroom or a finished basement area that can be easily converted into a spacious home office. Even if your home doesn't have an office, it can help to stage one during the selling process. If you're looking for some examples of beautiful home offices, check out some of these awesome Augusta County homes for sale.

  • More Space
    Size requirements vary over the course of a lifetime, and so some families move primarily for the sake of more square footage. As a seller, we recommend doing everything possible to highlight the storage features of your home. During the staging process, make sure your closets are freshly painted and not overflowing. Closets that are a little less than half full actually appear larger in size. 

Outdoor Features

  • Beautiful Outdoor Space
    A big backyard may not always be important in a first home, but as consumers begin to start a family, having a nice green space for the kids to play becomes even more important. A bigger backyard has always been a common reason for moving. As a seller, you can really bring out the best in your outdoor space through good landscaping, patio decor, and gardening.

  • A Large Garage
    Covered parking is a big deal, especially in the winter. Many homeowners are willing to move in order to avoid off-street parking or a one-car garage. If you have a nice multi-vehicle garage, make sure to clean it out and declutter to try to maximize the space. Also, consider adding new bright lighting to make it shine.  

Pet-Friendly Features

  • Pet-Friendly Amenities
    A great home for pets is often a non-negotiable for millennials, so it's no surprise to see consumers moving for more pet-friendly amenities. Whether it's a walkable neighborhood or a location with quick access to parks, vets, or pet-boarding, many people are considering their dog or cat's well-being when choosing a place to live.

Kitchen Features

  • A Big Bright Kitchen
    Kitchens in many starter homes are small and not conducive to cooking large meals. Many people are willing to move in order to obtain that big bright kitchen they've always dreamed of. Big kitchens make it easy to host dinner parties and holidays. It's worth considering a nice kitchen makeover with new lighting, flooring, and even upgraded appliances, as these renovations could earn you a nice ROI when it comes time to sell.

  • A Spacious Extra Bathroom
    The total number of bathrooms is an important selling feature, and often families are in search of homes with two, three, or even four full bathrooms. Adding an extra bathroom can really boost your market value. We often see homeowners add an extra full or half bath to a finished basement. 

Laundry Features

  • A Nice Laundry Room 
    A dedicated laundry room is often among the most desired features of homebuyers. Washers and dryers are often stored in the basement, due to easy access to utility lines; however, many prefer a comfortable laundry room with space to wash, dry, fold, and iron clothes.

By learning what buyers are looking for in a home, you can be better prepared to market the best features of your listing. For more tips on how to maximize your property, contact us.

February
28

Spring Cleaning Tasks That Will Get Your Home Ready to List

Spring Cleaning

Spring naturally brings out the desire to clean, and if you're interested in selling your home, it couldn't come at a better time. Before your home is listed for sale with one of our real estate agents, make sure it will look its best. Spring cleaning can make your home shine and look fresh and clean! This is sure to make it more appealing to prospective buyers and help it stand out from other Rockingham County homes for sale.

The following spring cleaning tasks will help you get your home ready to list:

Declutter

  • Clear the Clutter
    Everyone has possessions that they no longer want or use, and holding onto them makes your home look messier and harder to keep clean. A crowded home also will make prospective buyers wonder if your home has enough storage and makes it harder for them to imagine your home as their own. Before you start spring cleaning, go through your home and remove clothes that are no longer worn, broken, or outgrown toys and household goods that have outlived their usefulness. Items that are still in good shape can be sold or donated.

  • Make a Checklist
    Make a room-by-room checklist of what you need to clean. This helps keep you on track, ensures that areas aren't forgotten, and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you cross items off your list. Break each room down into areas, such as drawers, and then individual tasks such as wiping them down and swapping out any outdated hardware. This checklist can also be used to divide spring cleaning tasks among several family members.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Shop for Needed Cleaning Supplies
    Make sure you have what you need, including a good all-purpose cleaner and microfiber cloths, before you start cleaning. Supplies that can be used for a myriad of objects and surfaces are ideal to start with, and as you start cleaning, you can always buy a specialty product if there's a need for it. Look for cleansers that have a pleasingly light scent since this can also help your home seem fresh and clean.

  • Don't Forget the Outside
    It's not just your home's interior that needs freshening up in the spring - it's also the outside. The outside of your home will be seen by house hunters even before the inside is. And if it makes a poor impression, they may never make it through your front door. Walk around your home and yard to see what needs cleaning, repairing, and refreshing. You might need to pressure wash the exterior of your home as well as your driveway, patio, deck, and walkways. Paint touch-ups may also be needed. 

  • Wash Everything You Can
    Household items can collect dust that makes them look dirty and dingy, so wash everything you can. This includes curtains, some area rugs, bath mats, and shower curtains. Items that can't be washed should be thoroughly shaken outside and vacuumed using the right attachment. If they've seen better days, you may want to simply replace them, especially if they're relatively inexpensive items.

Spring Clean Windows

  • Make Your Windows Sparkle
    If you've had your draperies or blinds closed for a good bit of the winter, you may not have noticed how grimy they've gotten. Scrub each pane clean inside and out on a cloudy day so you're not left with streaks. And don't forget to also scrub any sills or trim. Clean windows can make your entire home sparkle and will let sunlight in, giving your home a bright, fresh appearance. Just be aware that sunlight streaming into a home highlights any dust, so make sure to add dusting to your list of spring cleaning to-dos.

  • Clean Easily Overlooked Areas
    Prospective buyers will be looking over your home from top to bottom, so no area is too small to ignore. Clean your light switch plates and outlet covers, and pay attention to the inside of your appliances, drawers, and cabinets because potential buyers will definitely open them.

Spring Clean Entryway

  • Spend Extra Time on Your Entryway
    Since your entryway will be the first part of your home's interior that prospective buyers will see, take extra time on the area so it makes a good impression. Invest in a new welcome mat, make sure your door is in great shape (including any glass inserts), and clean the floor thoroughly. And if you have any furniture to store shoes, coats, or other items near the door, make sure it's clean and uncluttered. Not only does this make a better impression, but it also gives prospective buyers a place to hang their jackets.

Contact us to see Rockingham homes for sale or Harrisonburg homes for sale. Whether you're looking to buy a home, sell one, or do both, we have the knowledge and experience to make your transaction go smoothly.

December
27

New Year's Resolution: Real Estate Tips for 2022

Sell Home in 2022

If your plans for 2022 involve selling your home and purchasing a different property, now is the perfect time to start your planning. Accomplish your New Year's resolution of selling your home! Here are some tips our real estate agents recommend in 2022 to help you streamline the selling process. 

Declutter Tips

  • Remove Half the Stuff in Your Closet
    No matter what year you're selling your home, some things remain timeless. Like the fact that a clean and decluttered space will show better to potential buyers. It's common knowledge that you need to declutter before listing your home, but it's best to cut the amount of stuff in your closets and cabinets by half. Buyers will open your closet and cabinet doors to get a closer look at the storage space in your home. Though it might seem like having the closet or cabinet packed full will showcase how much it can hold, it's better to stage the space with less stuff. Having less stuff in a closet or cabinet makes it appear roomier and well-organized, Both of these traits will increase its appeal to potential buyers. 
  • Price Your Home Right at the Start
    It's tempting to price your home at the higher end of what you think you can get for it in hopes of maximizing your profits. You may think that if it doesn't quickly sell, you can always lower the price after a few weeks. Most of the time, it's better to price your home at a lower, more realistic price. Homes that are correctly priced attract more interest and sell faster. A home that's on the market for an extended period often appears worrisome to potential buyers. They may worry that it hasn't sold because there are issues (like expensive repairs or strict offer requirements) that are preventing potential deals from closing. 

Natural Lighting

  • Illuminate Your Home with Attractive Lighting
    A simple, highly effective way to help your home look its best is to ensure that it's well-illuminated. Any home looks better when it's lush with atmospheric lighting. Go through your home and check that all your light fixtures have working light bulbs. Confirm that the lightbulb in the fixture is the best alternative. For example, fluorescent lighting often looks hazy and a little dull. Swap these light bulbs for an LED bulb that emits a soft, warm light. 

  • Optimize Your Home's Natural Light
    A space with lots of natural light looks cheery and inviting; it also appeals to potential buyers. Maximize the amount of light that enters your home by cleaning your windows, washing drapes and blinds, and moving any furniture that obscures the light.

Real Estate Agents

  • Work with an Experienced Agent
    A qualified agent with experience handling Staunton homes for sale transforms the home selling process. Since they have local experience, they understand how to properly price your home and what concessions are considered normal for your area. They can make recommendations that will help your home look its best. Your real estate agent will assist with scheduling tours and open houses, and they'll take care of the marketing for your property. Experienced agents know how to handle buyer negotiations so that you're able to get as much money as possible for your home. If a problem arises during the home inspection or appraisal, they'll try to salvage the deal. 

Home Upgrades

  • Be Strategic with Your Home Upgrades
    You might think that completing a few home upgrades is a simple way to get more money for your home. Some upgrades will have an excellent return and help your home sell faster and for more money. Others don't make a significant difference to potential buyers and provide a poor return for your money. One area that tends to have a strong return for your money is your home's kitchen. If your cabinets are old, consider painting them and adding new hardware to update their look. You can replace your countertops for a few thousand dollars. This instantly gives your kitchen a facelift, and you'll get your money back when your home sells. Remember, home repairs and maintenance aren't upgrades. These are the tasks that buyers expect to be completed in a home that's been properly cared for. Check that all your utilities and appliances are in working order. Doors should be even and on track. All your home's electrical components should work. It's also best to take care of any plumbing or structural repairs that your home needs before listing it. 

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

November
22

How to Sell Your Home During the Holiday Season

Holiday Home Staging

You're ready to put your home on the market, but the holiday season is near. Should you wait to sell your home, or is there a way to find a buyer during the holidays?

Our real estate agents know that with a few adjustments, it's entirely possible (and even profitable!) to sell a home during the holiday season. Buyers tend to have more flexible schedules around the holidays, which gives them more opportunities to look for a home. Here's what you need to know about selling your home during the holidays. 

Home on the Market

  • Take Advantage of the Lack of Competition
    The winter months are commonly viewed as a poor time to sell a home. While there are some difficulties you'll need to address, the lack of competition during this period can be used to your advantage. It's true that there are fewer buyers (and home sellers) during the winter. Those who are buying are often ready to act fast when they see a home that meets their needs. Make sure that your home is as appealing as possible. The goal is for it to stand out as a fantastic option when compared to the small number of homes for sale. 

Winter Decorations

  • Opt for Classic Decorations That Showcase Your Home's Best Traits
    This isn't the year to break out all your holiday decor, but you do need to decorate your home before you add it to the list of Luray homes for sale. A well-decorated home is welcoming and inviting to potential buyers. It allows them to envision their family using the home for holiday celebrations. Buyers think of using the kitchen to prepare holiday dinners and consider how the living room will accommodate their family. A home with a strong emotional appeal is simply more appealing to prospective buyers. Your decorations will work to create this emotional pull while staging your spaces. Decorations must compliment your home without making it appear cluttered. Do you have a lot of large windows? Highlight them by hanging a classic wreath or bow on each one. Are your doors stylish and new? Draw attention to them with a wreath and holiday lights. Skip the inflatable decorations and avoid anything that obscures the view of your home. Stage your dining area with matching place settings and a holiday centerpiece. When putting up your tree, make sure that the size compliments the space of your room. Your buyer should feel that choosing a spot for the tree is an effortless holiday chore.
  • Pay Attention to Your Home's Curb Appeal
    The winter months are a little tricky when it comes to maximizing your home's curb appeal. Most of the grass is brown, the trees are missing their leaves, and the flowers aren't in bloom. Before listing your home with other Augusta homes for sale, check that it looks its best. Make sure that your leaves are raked and that there's no debris or dead plants in your gardens. See that your lawn and gardens are weed-free. Check that your exterior paint looks fresh and isn't peeling or cracked. Keep trash and boxes that tend to accumulate around the holidays removed or hidden from buyers. Stage your front door to create a positive first impression. A doormat, wreath, and garland are simple yet effective additions to instantly improve the look of your home. 

Photography

  • Use Pictures to Help Market Your Home
    Professional-quality photos are always valuable when selling a home, but they're even more imperative during the winter months. Buyers use pictures to decide if a home is worth venturing out in the frigid winter temperatures. Try to have photos taken before you decorate. Otherwise, holiday decorations may make your home feel "dated" if it's still on the market after the holidays. 

Interior Lighting

  • Refresh Your Lighting
    Since natural light is limited during the winter, it's important to check that the lights inside your home are functioning correctly. Replace any burnt-out light bulbs before adding your home to the inventory of Rockingham homes for sale, and see that your lightbulbs all provide the same type of lighting (i.e. don't mix cool and warm light bulbs). Using the same type of lightbulb throughout your home gives it a balanced, consistent look that produces a cozy, cheerful atmosphere.
  • Be Prepared for Wintery Conditions
    Don't let winter weather produce unsafe conditions for your potential buyers. Have lots of rock salt and a snow shovel on hand to prevent icy spots on your paved areas. 

Ready to sell your home this holiday season? Contact us today to get started!

March
1

Top 10 Things To Get Your House Ready for The Spring Market

List Home in Augusta County

Spring is just around the corner, and if you're thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to start getting ready. The real estate market heats up every spring, and with interest at historic lows, there couldn't be a better time to take advantage of the seller's market. 

Preparing to list your home can be a lengthy process, especially if it's your first time. From cleaning to staging, you may not know where to even start. If you want to make sure your home stands out among these beautiful Virginia homes for sale, be sure to follow these tips below:

  1. Find A Good Real Estate Agent
    The first and arguably most important step to listing your home is to find a reputable real estate agent. Referrals from trusted sources are usually the best ways to find a good agent. Working with a trusted real estate agent is the key to a smooth and successful transaction.

  2. Scope Out The Market
    Make sure to do some research about other Augusta County homes for sale, so you can get a sense of what other properties are selling for in your area. Look at homes that are similar in size to your own, as this can help you at least establish a starting point for a sale price.

update lighting

  1. Invest In Lighting
    Lighting is one of the most important aspects of the staging process. If you have rooms in your house that don't receive adequate sunlight, it's time to invest in additional lamps and lighting fixtures. Remember, bright rooms often appear larger and more welcoming. A real estate agent can help you optimize the lighting placements in each room.

  2. Declutter Your Home
    If you're planning to move soon, do yourself a favor and start the decluttering process early. Empty the attic and basement and get rid of any junk you no longer need. Decluttering will not only help streamline the staging process, but it will also make your move a lot easier.

  3. Make Repairs
    If you've been procrastinating on repairing that leaky faucet, running toilet, or squeaky door, now is the time to address it. Go through your home and make sure to repair anything that isn't functioning as it's supposed to. Even if it doesn't seem like a big deal, you can bet that potential buyers will notice.

  4. Depersonalize Your Home
    As much as you may enjoy looking at your family photos and favorite art, any personalized items can certainly be off-putting to prospective buyers. Seeing personalization in a home can make it difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in the home.

Fresh Coat of Paint

  1. Paint
    It's always a good idea to add a fresh coat of paint to your home's interior before listing it for sale. This can help give your home a fresh, clean look and also help your rooms appear brighter. Just be sure to stick to neutral colors, as anything bright or creative may turn off potential buyers. 

deep cleaning tips

  1. Deep Clean
    Once you're almost ready to list your home, it's time to clean like you've never cleaned before. Every corner, nook, and cranny will need your attention. It's also a good idea to have your carpets professionally cleaned. You don't want potential buyers noticing any dust or odors, so it's best to make sure the home is pristine. 

  2. Create a Relocation Plan For Your Pets
    Your furry friends might be cute, but not every buyer will think so. It's wise to come up with a relocation plan for your pets so they're not in the way when you're showing your home. Also, be sure to hide any bowls, litter boxes, or toys and eliminate any odors caused by your pets.

  3. Consider a Professional Photographer
    High-quality photos are one of the best ways to attract buyers to your listing, so you might want to consider hiring a professional photographer. Good photos are a great way to help your listing stand out from the competition. Check out some of the listing photos for these Staunton homes for sale. If you're having trouble finding a good photographer, ask your real estate agent for recommendations.

Selling your home doesn't have to be an intimidating process. Working with a good real estate agent is the best way to ensure a smooth transaction. If you're planning to list your home this spring, contact us today.

September
28

Last-Minute Staging Suggestions for Sellers

Staging

As you prepare to show your home, our real estate agents suggest that you and your agent take an afternoon to evaluate the entire house once more to ensure that everything is as presentable as possible. Unless you've hired a professional staging company, you may want to consider these easy last-minute staging suggestions that will showcase your home.

  1. Perform a Quick Clean
    If you've only got a few minutes to spare before a showing, devote that time to spot cleaning. Check corners for debris collections, wipe the dust from windowsills and countertops, and remove any trash that may have been deposited during previous showings. Remember to do a walkthrough of all areas, including bathrooms, the garage, and closets.

  2. Hide Your Cleaning Supplies
    After you've cleaned the space, finish tidying up by storing all cleaning supplies. Although you still want these items to be easily accessible after the showing, keeping them visible in the home is not recommended. Consider keeping them in a container in your vehicle, so they're always on hand yet always out of the way of your buyers.

  3. Perform a Quick Declutter
    Cleaning and decluttering a space have two different objectives. When you declutter, you're removing items that can distract or obstruct a viewer during the showing. For instance, put away all kitchen appliances that normally sit on the countertops. You should also remove all personal items on display in the home, such as photographs, awards, or other mementos that paint a picture of who you are in the buyer's mind. You want your home to be a blank slate for your buyer to fill in however they wish.  

  4. Remove Signs of Pets
    Although your pets are part of your family and home, not all buyers are thrilled to discover that animals once lived inside the home of their dreams. You may have kept your home in great shape, but some buyers will wonder if there are any stains or damages caused by your pets. Remove as many signs of your pet as possible and consider spraying a fresh scent in the areas where pet beds or litter boxes are usually stored.  

  5. Create a Comfortable Space
    Staging is more than a visual technique; it also involves creating a comfortable space that's appealing to the other senses. If the home seems stuffy or if a smell lingers, open the windows and let fresh air in. Look up at all of your lighting fixtures and replace any dim or dead lightbulbs to ensure that all rooms are adequately lit. You can also consider playing light music and leaving out refreshments that will help your guests relax while they browse the home.  

  6. Exit Stage Left!
    Now that you've finished staging your home, it's time to make a swift exit! While you may be excited to show potential buyers everything your property has to offer, you want to give them the space and time they need to take everything in.

When listing Virginia homes for sale, we typically recommend hiring a professional staging company to showcase your home for a successful sale! For help buying or selling homes in Virginia, contact us today.

November
25

Selling Your Home | It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Home Sale

Selling Your Home During the Holidays
It's beginning to look a lot like a home sale! Homeowners across the city are listing their Harrisonburg homes for sale during the most wonderful time of the year. If you're interested in listing your home during the winter, our REALTORS® have eight things you should know about selling your home during the holidays.

Eight Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

  1. Winter is an excellent time to list your home.
    Despite the colder weather and busyness of the season, the winter is a uniquely advantageous time to sell your home. Typically, there is less inventory on the market which lessens your competition. Many buyers are also more motivated to secure a home as quickly as possible, as many are buying to meet their immediate family or career needs.
  2. Reliable REALTORS® know how to capitalize on an opportunity.
    Your REALTOR® is your best resource when selling a home. These dynamic individuals know that everything from listing to staging to negotiating in the wintertime requires a slightly different approach and they're able to proceed accordingly. Make sure you hire a REALTOR® who has the knowledge and experience you need to sell your home successfully without stress during the holidays.
  3. You'll need exterior photographs from prior seasons.
    Of course, all homeowners should hire a professional photographer to take updated interior and exterior photos for the listing. However, the winter weather doesn't always showcase your exterior as dazzlingly as possible. By including photos of your property from the greener seasons, you can show off the full potential of your outdoor spaces.
  4. Landscaping is still an important element to curb appeal.
    Although you can't control the snow, ice, and slush that makes its way onto your property, you can prevent it from detracting from your curb appeal. Shoveling sidewalks and driveways and removing icicles can make a world of difference, as can trimming dead branches off of trees and raking up debris around the yard. Remember, curb appeal is one of the most important elements of your home and a top reason why buyers will consider your property.
  5. Your appliances will need to be ready to run without fail.
    While you may be able to sell your home even if it requires a few touchups in certain areas, your appliances must be running at peak performance. Homeowners will need to immediately use the stove, heater, fireplace, furnace, and hot water tanks. Any issues with these appliances can immediately make a buyer consider another property.
  6. Flexibility can dramatically increase your potential for success.
    The holidays are a busy time for buyers and sellers alike, but being flexible and understanding of your seller's needs can go a long way to helping you sell the home. Whether they need a fast close, small repairs completed or negotiated terms, being willing to find a compromise can help you seal the deal much smoother and faster.
  7. Seasonal décor can positively and negatively impact your viewings.
    Holiday decorations are often cherished by many homeowners and there are certainly plenty of buyers who will enjoy seeing your home and neighborhood spectacularly decorated. Unfortunately, there are also some buyers who may find religious, spiritual or cultural decorations to be off-putting. Be sure to consult your REALTOR® regarding how you can best present your home while still enjoying one last season with your favorite holiday décor.
  8. Timing is everything.
    Although there may be more motivated buyers and less inventory on the market, you still need to time your listing appropriately. If you don't need to sell your home before the New Year, it may be in your best interest to wait until January to list it.

If you'd like help selling your home during the holidays (and all throughout the year), contact us at Old Dominion Realty today!

Sell Your Home with Old Dominion Realty

 

June
17

Why Are You Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a big decision and one that you likely won't make without a good reason. Whether you want to upgrade to a larger home, relocate for work, cash out on a home in a favorable market, or move to a community that better suits your needs, the reason why you sell your home will have an impact on the sales process. It's essential to understand why and to work with a real estate agent who understands your needs. Our real estate agents are here with a checklist to common reasons why owners decide to sell their homes.

  1. Moving for a New Job
    Even if you love everything about your current home, sometimes a job offer is too good to pass up. If that job is far away – or far enough that a commute from your existing home is unmanageable – then you may need to start shopping for a new home closer to your new job.

  2. Increase in Family Size
    Have you recently gotten married, or do you have a child on the way? A change in family size is one of the most common motivations for selling a home, especially if your current home is a bit too small for the increased size of your family. If you're planning an increase in family size and expect that you might need to move, then it's good to start preparing early in the process.

  3. Home Is Too Expensive
    For some homeowners, the cost of maintaining and upgrading a home is higher than expected, or mortgage payments become too much to handle. Searching for a more affordable home can be a great way to recalibrate your financial picture, and find a property that fits more comfortably into your budget.

  4. What Happened to the Neighborhood?
    Finding the right neighborhood is almost as crucial to long-term satisfaction as finding the right home, but neighborhoods also change over time. If your neighborhood isn't what it used to be, you might decide to sell and seek another that better suits your needs.

  5. Selling in a Favorable Market
    Sometimes, the market provides all of the motivation you need to sell your home. If it's a strong seller's market, and you see the opportunity to cash out, earn a profit, and upgrade to a newer home in the process, then it may be time to strike while the iron is hot.

  6. Moving On Up
    Is your current home the very first property that you ever bought? Then a positive change in your financial situation may provide the perfect motivation to start shopping for Harrisonburg homes for sale and upgrade to something new. Even if nothing else has changed besides finances, that can be more than enough reason to seek something new.

  7. On to the Next Challenge
    Are you the type who likes to buy a home, upgrade it slowly but surely over time, and eventually cash out for more than you paid to start work on your next project? Many homeowners find joy in working on their home, so when the current home is "complete," they move on to a new home and a new challenge.

No matter why you're choosing to sell your home, our team is here to help you find the right buyer and the best deal so you can sell your home with confidence.  Contact us today to find out more about listing your home for sale as a part of our local real estate marketplace.

March
25

Lighten The Load Before You Move

Moving Tips New Home
"Moving is easy," said no one ever. While moving to a new home will never qualify as fun, you can take steps beforehand to make it less tedious and time-consuming. Our real estate agents offer valuable moving tips they've learned from years of experience helping home buyers and sellers throughout Virginia and West Virginia.

  1. Create a Game Plan
    As with any other major project, successfully streamlining your move relies on a workable action plan. Here are some questions to answer before proceeding:

    • Will you be using a professional moving service?
    • What will you need in your new home? (Drawing a floor plan helps you decide.)
    • In which order will you clear rooms? How will you dispose of unwanted items?

  2. Start Early
    If you cut it too close to the actual moving day, you're likely to make bad decisions under pressure. Estimate how much time you think it will take and double the amount to allow for a cushion.

  3. Sort as You Go
    Items you decide to toss should go in one of three piles:

    • Reuse or repurpose for items to donate or sell
    • Recycle for paper, glass and other recyclable materials
    • Trash for anything that doesn't fit in the other two categories

  4. Use the 12-Month Rule
    Do you find yourself with boxes that have survived one or more moves without ever being unpacked? Purge items that haven't been used for 12 months or more with a clear conscience. This will apply primarily to clothes and accessories, but it's also helpful for items such as kitchen utensils.

    Other guidelines include:

    • Does an item give you joy or sorrow?
    • Would you buy it again?
    • Are you keeping it out of a sense of obligation?

  5. Consider Temporary Storage
    Are you still on the fence about several items? Pack them separately and keep them out of your new house for a while. If the number of items doesn't justify the cost of a storage unit, ask a friend or family member to hold them. This will help you decide once and for all if you can live without these items.

  6. Dispose of Hazardous Products
    Professional movers won't accept paint, propane tanks, lawn chemicals, and other hazardous items, and it's too risky to attempt moving them yourself. Check for the closest hazardous waste disposal center in your local area. Under no circumstances should hazardous products be put in trash or recycling bins.

  7. Use up What You Have
    Non-perishable food items and personal care products add weight and take up valuable space in moving boxes. Inventory what you have on hand and use up as much as you can. Donate remaining items to a food bank or shelter.

  8. Enlist Help
    The pre-move process can be intimidating if you take on all the responsibility yourself. Spouses, significant others, and children all have a stake in what stays and what gets tossed, so get them involved. Set up a schedule assigning times and tasks so everyone knows what is expected of them. 

  9. Reward Yourself
    No one can remain focused without breaks. Stay motivated by setting daily goals and rewarding yourself for each accomplishment. Watch a movie, read a book, or meet a friend for coffee.

Buying or selling a home involves seemingly endless decisions that can be difficult to navigate on your own. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty and let our experienced and professional real estate agents show you the way.

August
16

Why Hire a Professional to Sell Your Home

Hire an Agent to Sell Your House
There is a reason most sellers--roughly 90 percent--use a professional real estate to sell their homes.  Professionals have the real estate "know how" to sell your home quickly and for the right price.  If you're still considering a FSBO to save the price of a commission, think again. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® reports people who choose to "go it alone" and sell without a REALTOR® often make less money than they would hiring a REALTOR®

Selling a house quickly and for the most money takes time, marketing skills, knowledge of the local neighborhood, and negotiation skills--to name a few.  Using a real estate agent can be the difference between a successful sale and months of frustration.

If that's not enough cause to hire a professional, here are four more reasons why hiring a REALTOR® like those on our team at Old Dominion Realty is the right choice for you.

  1. Your Trusted Guide
    There is more work to selling your home than sticking a sign in your yard and hoping for a buyer to knock on the door. Many people do not know where to begin. You need to understand both the process of selling your house and the market you are trying to sell it in. Without this knowledge, you could end up selling your home for too low a price or not selling it at all.

    With the right REALTOR®, you can rest easy knowing that they will guide you every step of the way. These real estate professionals can take you from setting the right price all the way to the closing table. Every step in the process is critical to the success of selling your home.

  2. Knowledge and Experience
    Selling a home at the best price requires expertise and experience. Your real estate agent should know the local market well. They know what areas are selling well and what options are motivating sellers. Armed with this information, you can quickly prepare your home for sale and establish a fair market asking price.

    REALTORS® also have the experience to handle any surprises. They are trained in the entire process of listing, pricing, negotiating, and selling your home. Regardless of what happens during the sales process, your real estate agent has more than likely handled it before and will be able to handle it for you as well.

  3. Network of Professionals
    Our real estate offices have teams of professional real estate agents that work together. This team also has access to an entire network of worldwodie real estate professionals not just in Virginia and West Virginia. Through Old Dominion Realty's affiliation with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), professionals across the globe and their clients will see your real estate listing.

    By unleashing the power of this network, your real estate agent can connect you with interested home buyers from another country or across town. They can also narrow the list to qualified buyers that are looking for homes in your neighborhood. Your agent can connect the right type of buyers with your house in a shorter period possibly resulting in a faster sale at a better price.

  4. Marketing Plan for Success
    Perhaps the most important reason for choosing an Old Dominion Realty professional to sell your home is the fact that they can provide a proven marketing plan to sell your home.

    It starts with a thorough assessment of your house and your expectations for selling. They will leverage their capabilities to market your home to qualified buyers. Using market-driven research, they will negotiate the best price and get you through to the closing table.

So are you ready to answer the question of "what is my home worth?" Contact Old Dominion Realty and let our real estate agents help you sell your home.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

January
30

Top 5 Reasons Why FSBOs Fail

Why FSBOs Fail

When you are selling your Harrisonburg home, it only makes sense you want the sale to close successfully. But, how do you define success? It's simple—maximizing your profits and minimizing disruption to your daily life. For nearly 90 percent of homeowners that means enlisting the services of experienced real estate agents like our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty.

Yet, there is a small percentage of homeowners who choose to list their homes for sale by owner (FSBO), perhaps hoping to save money by avoiding commissions. Unfortunately, FSBOs have a reputation for failure.  We have created this list of five reasons why homes for sale by owners fail.

  1. Seller and Home Not Prepared
    One common misstep of homeowners trying the FSBO route is not fully understanding the work involved in successfully preparing their home for sale. Often, just the planning and budgeting process of getting your home in tip-top shape is a major achievement.  Sellers need to understand:

    - Curb appeal: Is your roof missing any shingles? Is your landscaping looking shabby? Does your front door need a coat of paint?
    - Interior: Have you shampooed your carpeting, painted any rooms or checked the condition of attic insulation?
    - ROI: Most importantly, do you know which of these and other minor home improvement projects, remodels, and upgrades offer the best return on investment in your market segment and community?

  2. Time-Consuming Inquiries and Showings
    One of the biggest pitfalls of a FSBO is that it's time consuming.  This includes keeping the home in "show-ready" condition, answering questions, and juggling showings and open houses. Do you have the time to field and screen phone calls from potential buyers, real estate agents, real estate investors, and window shoppers?

    After all, real estate agents and home buyers want quick responses to their inquiries. Otherwise, you can be sure they have other properties to view. You are better off hiring a real estate agent to handle all inquiries and to schedule and staff the showings.

  3. Pricing Pitfalls
    Accurately pricing homes for sale in Harrisonburg takes knowledge of the local market and experience. Our REALTORS® utilize comprehensive market analyses to arrive at an accurate home value which to help you gauge an asking price. Avoid the pricing pitfalls of FSBO homes, and talk to your agent.

  4. Lacking Market Reach
    You spruced up your curb appeal, organized home improvement receipts, and baked two pans of heavenly-smelling cookies before an open house event. Time for an honest reality check: lack of market reach is the final nail in the coffin for many FSBO homes.

    - FSBO: How many qualified home buyers do you suppose are aware of your open house?
    - Agent-assisted seller: Could a professional agent with their finger on the seller/buyer pulse likely bring more market exposure and buyers to the table?
    - Negotiations: Could an experienced and savvy agent likely bring you a higher closing price?

  5. Paperwork and Liabilities
    Anything can happen when closing a home. A last-minute credit check could disqualify the buyer. The results of the home inspection and appraisal reveal it is substantially overpriced, needs a new roof and furnace, and the lender goes cold. Just understanding and completing paperwork correctly is a handful for most inexperienced sellers.

    Moreover, selling your home without an agent (and their Errors &Omissions Insurance) may leave you vulnerable to liabilities during and after closing. At the end of the day, agent-assisted home sellers boast the best results.

Contact Old Dominion Realty to sell your home in the eastern West Virginia and central Virginia real estate markets.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

October
24

Here's 5 Scary-Good Ideas to Sell Your Home Faster

Good Ideas Sell Your Home
There are few things spookier when selling a house than a home that sits on the market longer than you'd like, but there are plenty of simple tricks for adding a few treats to attract more potential buyers for your home. The way that you present, market, and prepare your property makes a huge difference in generating interest, attracting offers, and ultimately finding a buyer for your home.

Our REALTORS® know what it takes to navigate even the scariest real estate markets, and we've put together five tips for helping you sell your home faster this Halloween season.

  1. A Clean and Clutter-Free Home
    When a buyer visits your home to take a peek, you want them to be able to envision what their life would be like if they lived there. So the first step toward selling a house fast is making sure that your home is clean down to the tiniest details and free of clutter so that buyers can let their imagination roam. A buyer interested in homes for sale in Staunton, for example, will check closets and storage spaces, so you want those areas to be free of clutter, too. Renting a storage unit is a great way to clear space, and keep your items safe until you move into your new home.

  2. Sensational staging
    A clean, decluttered house is a great place to start, but you can do even more to help buyers imagine their lives in your home. The way that you stage your house for showings ultimately has a big impact on buyer perception, so it's well worth reading up on staging tips and developing a simple, tasteful layout that checks all the right boxes for buyers. An experienced real estate agent should have staging ideas to help your home shine during open houses.

  3. Inner Light
    One of the simplest staging tips for selling a home fast is to make sure that there's plenty of light inside, so that buyers can see all of the hard work you put in to make your home look its best. Indoor lighting is attractive as long as it's not overdone, and your home will really shine if you open the curtains to let the sunlight flow.

  4. A Fantastic First Impression
    One of the things you'll notice about the most popular Harrisonburg homes for sale is that they all look great from the curb, and that's no accident. Making sure that your yard is clean, your lawn is cut, and you're landscaping is looking its best will go a long way toward helping your home sell. If it's been a long time since your home's entrance has gotten a fresh coat of paint, now is a great time to consider that as well.

  5. The Right Price
    You've got your home clean, decluttered, and expertly staged, so now it's time for the final piece of the puzzle. And finding the right price is absolutely critical if you want to sell your home fast. An experienced real estate agent can help you set the right price based on comparable homes in your area and market trends, so you can attract more buyers while still getting a great return on your investment.

Finding the right real estate agent is one of the best ways to make selling a house less scary, and our team is here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact Old Dominion Realty to find out more about selling your home with us.

Contact Old Dominion Realty

 

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